LONDON, Jan. 6 (UPI) -- A Congolese man on trial for the torture killing of a teen he claimed to be a sorcerer previously had accused a woman of witchcraft, an English court heard.
Eric Bikubi, 28, accused Naomi Ilonga, 19, who, with her boyfriend, went to live with Eric and girlfriend Magalie Bamu, of "having got witchcraft because she would bite her nails," Prosecutor Brian Altman told an Old Bailey courtroom, Britain's The Guardian reported Friday.
"He told Magalie Bamu to throw anything away that Naomi had touched, including articles of clothing, pots, pans and plates, which Magalie did," Altman said.
Bikubi prayed "to release Naomi's bad spiritual soul" before pressuring her to cut off her hair "to release the witchcraft," the prosecution said.
Bikubi and Bamu stand accused of the torture killing of Bamu's 15-year-old brother, Kristy, on Christmas Day 2010, because Bikubi said he believed Kristy to be a witch, the newspaper said.
"It was those same beliefs that led to the beatings, which became increasingly cruel and increasingly inventive, and which were ultimately to cost Kristy his life," Altman argued in court.
Bamu was Bikubi's "very willing accomplice" in the beating death of Kristy, the prosecution said.
"She not only encouraged him by her presence but also, more importantly, assisted and encouraged him by her words and actions to beat her own brother to death," Altman said in court.